Gaon Connection's Neetu Singh gets Chameli Devi Jain Award for Outstanding Woman Journalist

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New Delhi, Mar 19 (PTI) Neetu Singh, a Hindi-language journalist from Lucknow, won the Chameli Devi Jain Award for Outstanding Woman Journalist for the year 2020 on Friday.

She received the award for her reportage on gender-sensitive issues and discrimination, organiser The Media Foundation said in a statement.

Working from Lucknow as a senior reporter with bi-lingual rural media platform Gaon Connection, Singh was the 'unanimous choice' of the three-member jury for her reporting from the depths of Uttar Pradesh in the most challenging of circumstances.

Her prize-winning entries, published in 2020, included an exceptional seven-part series titled 'Balatkar Ke Baad' on life after rape, examining closely the impact of the brutal act.

'The narratives stood out for the manner in which they painstakingly recounted the horrific human stories of sexual violence. The series highlighted the trauma faced by the survivors, some as young as 12 or 13, and explained the problems the survivors' families faced on the socio-legal front,' the jury noted.

Singh interacted with seven rape survivors, most of them minors, and their families in an attempt to understand how a young girl's innocent world suddenly turns upside down with one brutal act.

Her stories were 'well reported and narrated' and are a 'source of inspiration for her peers', the jury remarked.

'I want to say this to every girl that never let anything keep you from achieving what you want. If you put your heart into something, you will definitely succeed,' Singh said in a video message.

The jury this year included Bishakha De Sarkar, editor, BL Ink Hindu Business Line, Nirmal Pathak, editor, Bhasha-PTI, and Naresh Fernandes, editor, Scroll.in.

The annual award, which recognises social concern, dedication, courage and compassion, received 39 entries from all over the country, including six in Hindi and one in Telugu.

The Media Foundation instituted the award in 1980, named after Chameli Devi Jain, a legendary freedom fighter and community reformer who went to jail for her beliefs.

The award was followed by the annual BG Verghese Memorial Lecture by Alan Rusbridger, principal, Margaret Hall, Oxford University.

Rusbridger delivered the lecture on 'What Journalists Can - and Should - Learn from the Social Media'. PTI MAH RC